Close Article Return to stream X
NBA

Dallas Mavericks One Star Away From Title Contention

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If Monta Ellis had produced the same numbers for a team perceived as a title contender as he did for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2013-14 season, he would have unquestionably been named an All-Star for the first time in his career. When the Mavericks signed him as their plan H last summer, they could not have dreamed that he would fit next to Dirk Nowitzki any better than he did.

Ellis averaged 19 PPG and just under six APG for the season, and got to the basket more effectively than anyone else in the league as the starting shooting guard in Dallas. If you dive into the more complex statistical categories, you would be hard-pressed to find any major flaws in Ellis’ first season with the Mavericks.

Nowitzki participated in the All-Star game for the 12th time after taking a year off from that game the season before. He bounced back from the 2012-13 season, when he was dramatically slowed by injury but still rounded into superstar form by April.

It’s obvious that both players are in Dallas to compete for an NBA championship. They both have displayed tremendous amounts of heart and desire. They have shown that they want to fight as hard as they have to in order to compete at the highest level, on the biggest stage, and under the brightest lights.

No one outside of Dallas gave the team a chance at the start of last season, but they still managed to reach just shy of 50 wins in a Western conference absolutely stacked from top to bottom, and they pushed the eventual NBA champions to seven games. The San Antonio Spurs lost three games to the Mavericks in the recent playoff season. Against the Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder and mighty Miami Heat, the Spurs lost only four games combined.

So with all that considered, with everything the Mavericks have going for them, why do they still seem to be considered underdogs in the free agent market? Why do circles of casual fans seem to view Dallas as a franchise that’s not on the same level as the other top-tier franchises? It’s difficult to understand, but the team is consistently in the conversation regarding any top-level free agent-to-be, and that’s saying something.

Brian Ogle is a Dallas Mavericks columnist for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @TheOgle.

Your Favorites
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Dirk Nails Game-Winner, Gets Love From Kobe

Kobe Bryant wasn't able to lace up for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, but he still managed to make the highlight reels on multiple occasions. After Dirk Nowitzki nailed what turned out to be the game-winning jumper, he stumbled backward into Bryant and received a pat of approval. This encounter is the definition of the saying 'game recognizes game' as the two players are both legends and future Hall of Famers.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Josh Smith Fakes Dirk Nowitzki Out of His Shoes

Josh Smith has returned to the Houston Rockets via trade, and he made the most of his first game back. He scored 16 points off the bench, including this drive on Dirk Nowitzki that made Smith look like Hakeem Olajuwon. Could Ty Lawson and Josh Smith be the spark duo off the bench that rejuvenates this Rockets team?

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Watch Nowitzki Spoof Trump In Hilarious Ad

Although he may not look like it, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is one of the funniest guys in the NBA. He was up to his old tricks again in this video, and I couldn't stop laughing after watching this.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Watch Kings' Rondo Attempt To Trip Mavs' Williams

Last night's game between the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks was one of the most entertaining of the season. It was a back-and-forth contest that ended on a Deron Williams three-pointer as time expired in double-overtime. Unfortunately, Williams almost didn't get to take that shot as Rajon Rondo attempted to trip him from the bench earlier in the game which could have caused serious injury. Rondo should be suspended for his actions.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NBA Videos

Deron Williams Hits Game-Winning 3 In Double OT

The Sacramento Kings had a two-point lead in double overtime against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday evening, but Deron Williams came through with a clutch three as time expired to cement a one-point victory.

Comment 0 Comments